Guitar Hero – On Tour – Reviewed – Nintendo DS

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By Philip Dunkley

Guitar Hero DS

So there I was, just starting to get back to normal life, Psychologist bill all paid up from the work done on my addiction to the Guitar Hero franchise. 3 weeks clean. I’d put it down, and was preparing myself for the next instalment, namely World Tour. Then a “little” something arrived, totally by surprise, a new taste, one more hit for the fallen. I’d even nearly forgotten about this title, and did not expect it to affect my life in any way at all.

So Megarom send me the review unit, a small grip to attach to my DS, a plectrum for the touch screen, and the cartridge, with only 5 songs loaded onto the cartridge. 5 Minutes after starting this, I rushed out and bought my own copy, as the test unit has to go back by Friday anyway.

So this is what happened next. Philip loads up game, full game now as well, attaches controller, pulls out plectrum, begins song number 1, and immediately, relapse. Life is once again over. Even worse than before, cause now, I can take my addiction anywhere. My problem is now mobile.

Guitar Hero On Tour

So I’ll refrain from mumbling anymore, and get into the actual crux of the gameplay, and explain why this could probably be one of the coolest games ever designed. Firstly, we all know the concept of  
Guitar Hero. A bunch of colours come towards the player, and the player must hit the corresponding coloured buttons on the guitar, and strum the note at the same time. This has not changed, it’s just evolved.

Firstly, the game comes with a clip in grip, with only four colours on it, so the orange button has been omitted, for good reason. It has a decent difficulty curve, but don’t expect DragonForce kind of tough. It slots into the GBA slot on the DS, and if you have a first gen unit, it comes with an adaptor to make it compatible. It then also has the game cartridge (Duh!!) and a 2 x Plectrums with soft tips for use on the touch screen, and the traditional sticker kit, so now my DS looks like a 6 year olds bedroom wall.

Basically, you hold the unit sideways, and the left screen is the screen where the notes fly, and the right screen is the strum bar, and making a strum motion on the screen will play the note. It actually works very well. It also has the lefty flip option, just changing the screens around.

If I had only played this game for 20 minutes or so, it would have been a very different score at the end of this review, due to two elements. One, it is going to cramp up your hand, and quite badly at first, but as with all muscle memory activities, this does subside. Secondly, it was not the most accurate of feedback when playing notes, but once again, this takes some practice, and it does get easier.

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You then have the option of 26 Songs throughout the game, and some of them are pretty damn cool, especially “All the small things” by Blink 182. It’s not the same amount as the big brother versions, but 26 songs on a DS cartridge is actually damn impressive.

It also has a really cool Duel Mode, adding a whole bunch of new gameplay mechanics, like signing autographs and putting out fires and flipping the screens etc. Nice touch, and makes it still feel like a DS game.

The graphics are pretty good too, just no lip synching like in the rest of the series, but still not an issue.

This game has all the elements of the Guitar Hero Series, but just scaled down, but not in a bad way at all. For example, activating Star Power requires the player to yell something into the mic, but a button press or blowing into the mic will do the same.

The sound quality is a bit iffy here, but wearing headphones does make a marked difference. I have not tried it through an amp yet, but I’m sure this will rock out in a big way.

In conclusion, this game is fantastic, whichever way you look at it, and for the price (I paid R599.00), this is actually worth it in my opinion, and to those who have always wanted to take the guitar on the road, this is perfect. Thanks to Activision for ruining my life all over again. Oh, and you must see how weird you look playing this game.  HeHe.

Scoring:
Gameplay: 9/10 [Awesome]
Presentation: 8/10 [Looks cool for a DS Title]
Sound: 7.5/10 [Not the best I’ve heard]
Value: 9/10 [I will play over and over and over]
Overall: 8.5/10 [A really cool version of the Game]

Last Updated: July 23, 2008

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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